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Cocaine in Canada

July 04, 2009

Re "Same drug war, new border," Column One, June 30

Keeping a high-demand product's prices artificially high, in a prohibited state, creates an underworld economy in which disputes are settled through violence rather than bureaucracy and legal recourse.

I'd like to thank the United States for continually trying the same approach to drugs, draconian enforcement above all, and expecting the results to get better.

We can't keep drugs out of prisons; how do you expect them to be kept out of an open society?

Maybe it's time to try something else, until there's a full-blown gang war on both your borders. Remember how they stopped the bootleggers in the '30s?

Mike Foster

Laval, Canada

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Science dictates that if you squeeze one part of a half-filled balloon, the air moves to another part of the balloon. But it doesn't go away.

That is the phenomenon we see at play here, as the war in Mexico directly impacts the drug trade in Canada.

Without dissipating demand -- through a combination of drug treatment and education programs and possibly a liberalization of anti-drug laws -- the untreated addiction, corruption, greed and, as we see here, violence are physically incapable of doing anything more than merely shifting location.

Joel Furman

Los Angeles

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The apex of irony will be the day when Canada begins construction of its own border wall.

Robert M. Imm

Sunland

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